World Athletics sticking to testosterone-cutting regulations - Coe

·2-min read
Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba was barred from running her favoured 800m after falling foul of World Athletics regulations (AFP/STEFAN WERMUTH)

World Athletics will stick by its own "mature" regulations on intersex and transgender athletes, president Sebastian Coe said Thursday, after Olympic chiefs failed to nail down a uniform position and passed responsibility to individual federations.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Tuesday that it would not set competition criteria for intersex and transgender people, instead asking individual sports' governing federations to act as they see fit.

The IOC has struggled to establish a uniform position after a two-year consultation with more than 250 participants which included the publication of a framework on the issue.

"I read the framework document," Coe said at the end of a two-day World Athletics Congress.

"It's very much in alignment with everything that we believe very strongly in: the principle of fairplay, open competition."

World Athletics has introduced controversial rules governing testosterone levels.

Female athletes like Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba and South African Caster Semenya who have unusually high levels of testosterone, which gives them added strength, are prohibited from competing in races between 400m and a mile unless they undergo treatment to reduce the levels.

"I'm very happy that we have our mature regulations that are in place... our regulations will remain in place," Coe said.

"It's very important that we follow the research that we've done. We've got longitudinal work that now goes back nearly 10 years.

"The fundamental principle here is about fairness and inclusion and the regulations themselves were upheld by the Court of Arbitration (for Sport)" which said they were "seen as necessary, reasonable and proportionate and that appeal was dealt with by the Swiss Federal Tribunal".

"We share the need to make sure that everything is within the framework of human rights and we're very comfortable that that's exactly where we are," concluded Coe.

The IOC said it was seeking to promote a "safe and welcoming environment for everyone involved in elite-level competition".

"It must be within the remit of each sport and its governing body to determine how an athlete may be at a disproportionate advantage compared with their peers."

The IOC said most high-level competitions are staged with men's and women's categories.

It added it wanted these categories to be fair and safe, and that athletes would not be excluded solely on the basis of their transgender identity or sex variations.


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